Nov. 13, 2012
UNM Post-Game Quotes
Lobos vs. Davidson
Head Coach Steve Alford
"Obviously, I am extremely proud of our basketball team. Openers are difficult and really hard. Davidson has had an opener and Davidson is an outstanding team. We knew they were good from watching them on tape from last year but they are even better than advertised. They are smart, they work hard, they don't beat themselves up and they make very good basketball plays. Every offensive stop we make on them they make you feel like you are earning it. Being down by 16 points to a team like this and coming back in the last 14 minutes by making our free throws and taking care of the basketball. We made a lot of good plays in the last 10 minutes. I am extremely proud of this team."
On the four guards...
"We have talked about our versatility and we need to continue to work on it. If we continue to get the play like we did from Nick Banyard then we can go big when we need to go big. We felt like we were probably going to have to go big against this team because of juniors and senior and I knew Walk guarding Brooks was going to be a tough assignment. Brooks is really good inside. When we play teams like this it was good to see how we can go big/big and still get a lot of things done. I thought a key in the second half was the play of our freshmen. Nick Banyard and Thomas were just tremendous. They gave us a huge lift in a really difficult game for freshman to play in. I thought they energized us and the crowd was phenomenal. I just can't say enough good things about our crowd. I thought our kids were playing hard but we were getting ourselves beat and the crowd never gave up. They continued to work for us and we got a little bit of the rhythm. They took us to a whole other level. They created a great atmosphere and environment that lead to a win which was huge. This will play now throughout the marathon which and we will get a lot out of this. I couldn't be happier for the guys."
On Tony Snell...
"He had a really good sophomore year and he keeps getting better. His freshman year was a solid year and his sophomore year was better and now he has a really good start to his junior year. Now we have some guys who got out of the gate pretty slowly and that happens with openers. You usually don't play openers of this caliber. We got ourselves down which I think if we played a lesser opponent we would have been able to get in a rhythm to get the anxieties out. Tony was very aggressive right from the beginning."
On the free-throws...
"We wanted to drive the ball and we wanted to get to the line. I thought we had good inside out but we were a little stagnant in the first half. I thought their three shooting sort of shell shocked the team a little bit and we got a little frustrated offensively. Offensively in the second half we scored 55 points and did a lot of good things. We got to the line and made over 80 percent of our foul shots and it was multiple guys. It wasn't just one or two guys. Walk sits a really long period of play and then he comes in late in the game to make two crucial inbound plays and two crucial time outs that he called instead of throwing the ball away and he makes two big free-throws. That's not easy when you have been sitting for ten or twelve minutes. We had some guys really step up in the second half and make some big plays."
On the difference between the first and second half...
"Well we scored points in the second half and we guarded a little bit better. Davidson is a good basketball team and when you are playing your first twenty minute game on national TV at midnight the guys go through a lot of nerves and anxieties. Maybe I should have jump started them at the beginning of the game instead of at halftime. They really responded. We were down 14 and we cut it to 6 with a minute and a half to go with an 8 point run to end the first half; that is not good. We just kept hanging around and finally we started making some offensive plays and backing those up with defensive stops which is what you need to be able to do."
On Alex Kirk...
"He was someone who didn't play for over a year and he played 25 minutes and got 14 and 7 against really good big men. This team from top to bottom is really good. Their bigs were good, their guards were good and I thought it was a great challenge. Alex really gave us a good lift tonight. He played some really solid minutes."
On Davidson's Brooks...
"He is outstanding and we knew that was going to be a tough match up for us. He is a lefty, he can shoot, he can drive and he is a good post shooter. They have got really good moves inside. They are patient and they are hard to double because they have good spacing. When you double then you are giving up jump shots and they made 12 threes tonight. To give up 12 threes and to still win a game speaks volumes of how hard our guys played."
"I think it is effort and we are going to have to have that kind of effort on the glass. That was part of the halftime talk I told them, "guys Drew Gordon is gone. The double-double machine that always gets 15 rebounds is gone." We were down 8 at halftime on the backboard and to win this game by 17 on the backboard. We dominated the glass in the second half and I thought that was a huge key."
Junior Guard Tony Snell
Talk about what's changed in your game from last year?
"We had a wake-up call; it was a good first half wake-up call. It was at that moment that I realized that I needed to step up and be more vocal and try to lead my team to play better. I just wanted to be a leader."
Talk about Cleveland Thomas and Nick Baynard who had good first games out there on the floor during a big game
"They definitely stepped it up big time. I told them about just playing their game and not panicking if they make a mistake because that's how you learn, from those mistakes. They really stepped it up tonight."
Did the team have to learn how to rebound again without A.J. and Drew around?
"That was the number one key before we started the game was to focus on getting rebounds and blocking out. It didn't work out for us in the first half; we knew we had to step up in the second half."
Was there any point in the second half when you realized you guys were going to win?
"We just needed the stops. Our offense is going to come, but let's just play defense for now."
Talk about the crowd and playing on national television
"It was amazing. It was big time for our crowd to be out here at midnight and for them to be loud was great. Shoutout to all the fans for coming out tonight."
Is this the way you're going to play all year or is this just as needed?
"Hopefully we start off well. The goal is to punch first and then we'll see what happens after that."
Redshirt Sophomore Alex Kirk
Is that what it was for you being more comfortable with Kendall Williams and the pick and roll?
"Yeah, I just had to understand where he was looking to get me the ball. Obviously if he has the drive we want him to take it, but when they were hard hedging and focusing on the guards, that's where we had the openings."
Did you know that you and Cameron were going to spend so much time on the court together?
"I didn't, but as we rebounded and got into foul trouble that was huge. Nick Baynard and Pancake also came up huge. It's not something that we're really uncomfortable with but we'll just keep improving. Sometimes it'll be what we need and sometimes other teams will go small and that's what we'll do."
Talk about coming back and making this statement on national television..
"I think it's awesome. We owned it to the fans, they came out and it was great for us to be able to give them the second half. To do it on national TV was good because we got our names out there and proved some people wrong."